Work underway on the community center pool. June 27. Photo by LCGross
Home » Government » Pool construction faces raw materials and labor shortages.

Pool construction faces raw materials and labor shortages.

>Members of the Globe City Council: Mayor Al Gameros, Vice Mayor Mike Stapleton (District 4), and Council members Freddy Rios (District 1), Mike Pastor (District 2), Jesse Leetham (District 3), Mariano Gonzalez (District 5), and Fernando Shipley (District 6). All members were in attendance at this meeting except Councilman Shipley.

 Community Center pool to open mid-July

The Community Center pool rehab is encountering delays due to supply chain issues, said Project Manager James Neville from Structural Preservation Systems, the contractor providing engineering, design and construction management on the project.

Neville said supply chain problems are impacting the schedule for the community pool. Normally, he said, this should have been an eight-and-a-half-month project, but it was reduced to six and a half months based on suppliers’ timing estimates. Unfortunately, raw materials and labor shortages have affected the ability to open the pool on time.

The original goal was to open by the Fourth of July, and Neville said he has done his best, but currently, he is looking at the opening about two or three weeks later than that. That date is based on expectations for receiving the slide and the splash pad equipment. Neville feels it isn’t an option to open the pool without those components.

Neville is targeting the week of July 15 to 22 for the pool opening.

“We are hoping to be able to give you guys a world-class facility.…Once it is complete, it will be something that the whole community can be proud of.” James Neville, Structural Preservation Systems

Neville said the City and the hospital have been clear that they want to have a pool complex that will be a top-class facility both for recreation and for competition. He said the result will be “amazing,” but blending those two models, especially with a fast-track schedule, has posed special challenges.

To speed up the opening as much as possible, Structural Preservation has been doubling their crews on the project and has also been adding labor to vendors, such as for the gutters, filters, pump, and heater, to help the vendors focus on getting the equipment ready.

As of June 14, concrete is being poured, Neville said. The gutters and the pool liner are being delivered this week, and the pump is being delivered this weekend.

“There’s no compromise on quality. We did have a chance of making the deadline, but we would have given you a far inferior product. And that’s not fair on you guys and not fair on the community. I didn’t even want to go down that road.”

James Neville, Structural Preservation Systems

The project has been affected by massive increases in materials prices, Neville said. Because of budget constraints, the amoeba roof had to be replaced with a corrugated metal roof. The amoeba roof had represented a cost of nearly $700,000, due to high steel prices. The concession stand that is shown in the rendering has been pushed to phase 2.

Public Works Director John Angulo updated Council on the playground installation at the community center.

He said the borders are done but some key pieces of equipment are missing, because components are sitting at a dock out of state waiting for a truck to pick them up and deliver them to Globe. He said the foundation is all set, so the wood chips can be placed as soon as they’re delivered.

Crews are working on the bathroom remodel, so as soon as the playground equipment is put in place and the wood chips are spread, the port-a-johns can be removed and that part of the community center can be opened to the public.

Angulo also updated Council on the Veterans Park playground renovation.

He said the City is trying to get the playground reopened as soon as possible. The playground equipment is ready. Completion of the groundwork is waiting on a delivery of wood chips. Concrete work and lighting still need to be finished. Angulo said the City is planning to install a light tower so kids can play after dark.

City employee satisfaction survey highlights need for communication, concerns over stress

LaCoya Shelton of HR Revolutionary Consulting presented the results from the City’s annual employee satisfaction survey.

This is the second employee survey the City has conducted; the first one was conducted in 2020. This year’s survey was conducted in February/March, and 72 of the City’s 104 employees responded.

Overall, favorable responses increased over last year. The areas that the City chose as areas of focus in 2020 saw large increases in favorable response rates.

This year, the overall favorable response percentage was 77%, meaning about three out of every four responses was favorable. Shelton said this indicates overall positive attitudes toward the City.

The largest concern this year was communications, while for 2020 it had been pay. A significant takeaway is that employees are looking for opportunities to engage in open and honest dialogue with leadership.

The survey also found:

  • Supervisors and managers are not as worn out as they were in 2020 but are still feeling intense stress and pressure.
  • A major concern among employees is staffing, including recruitment, retention, and training and development.
  • Fairness and equity continue to be issues, for example in regard to hiring and promotion.
  • Employees continue to greatly value the benefits the City offers, including retirement.
  • Employees continue to feel valued and respected within their individual teams and by their coworkers.

“There is a really strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie that exists within departments.” LaCoya Shelton, HR Revolutionary Consulting

The Police Department had the overall highest favorability rating at 85%, followed by the Fire Department at 83%, the Library, Museum and Active Adult Center at 82%, Administration at 78%, Public Works – Fleet and Street at 64%, and Public Works – Water, Sewer and Water Office at 62%.

Significantly, the item “The City of Globe does not tolerate harassment or treating employees differently based on race, national origin, age, sex, religion, or ability” increased by 8 percentage points from 2020, to an 88% overall favorability rating.

The item with the lowest overall favorability rating was “The organization has an effective system in place for communicating necessary information” at 17% unfavorable. The second-lowest overall favorability rating was for “In my division, hiring and promotion decisions are fair and equitable” at 15% unfavorable.

In 2020, the lowest overall favorability rating was for “The City of Globe cares about employees,” but this year that item is only the fourth-lowest, showing good improvement on that issue.

Shelton recommended the following next steps for the City:

  • determining how to share the survey results with employees,
  • begin action planning for priority areas, develop goals, and communicate updates, and
  • prioritizing actions and assigning responsible parties.

Councilmembers expressed interest in understanding how to improve City employees’ experience with regard to the areas of stress and of transparent communication. Shelton suggested City leaders could learn more about the reasons for employees’ stress and also suggested various strategies for improving communication.

[These surveys] “are important for our employees to understand that we do care for them. We want them to be proud to work for the City and serve our community.” Mayor Al Gameros

Council hears initial 2022/23 budget presentation

Council heard a presentation on the City’s anticipated 2022/23 general fund budget and Capital Improvement Budget (CIP), including the general fund, enterprise funds, and Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) fund.

In highlights from the general fund budget, the City anticipates sales tax revenue of $7,565,266, bed tax revenue of $237,081, property tax revenue of $531,043, and “collected” tax revenue from the state of $3,079,749. The City expects total ongoing revenue of approximately $14.5 million. These are all estimated amounts and could change in either direction.

City Manager Paul Jepson explained that the budget has two parts. Ongoing revenue includes money the City receives on an annual basis. In general, ongoing general fund revenues are used to pay ongoing general fund expenses. The second part is one-time revenues, which come from various sources.

General fund expenses are expected to increase this coming year by $997,710 over last year. More than half of the amount, $554,136, will go to service USDA loans the City is applying for related to paying for the fire station and ladder truck. Jepson said the $554,000 will be an annual expense for the next 20 to 35 years.

The increase also results in part from the City’s ongoing initiative to bring City salaries in line with the market. It includes the salaries of four new employees whose positions fall under the general fund.

The city still has about a million dollars in general fund expenses to allocate before the final budget is adopted.

Community Center pool rehab budget update

The Community Center pool rehab was originally budgeted at $2.36 million. The City had funds available totaling $1.41 million, including $700,000 from partners Freeport, the United Fund, an Arizona Complete Health Grant, and Gila County IGA. The City also is expecting to receive $150,000 from BHP via United Fund and $100,000 from Capstone. The City had already allocated $500,000 from of ARPA funds, $180,000 of ARPA funds contingency, and $30,000 of admin contingency – for a total of $710,000 coming from the City. Combining the City’s $710,000 with the partners’ $950,000 comes to $1.66 million, leaving a shortfall of just under $700,000.

Jepson pointed out the City had set aside $750,000 of ARPA funds for recreation and CIP, which has not been spent, and additional ARPA funds are also available. In total, the City will be receiving $2.4 million in ARPA funds over this year and next year. These funds have some limitations in terms of what they can be used for, but this year, it can be used as a replacement for general funds. If the City applies all available ARPA funds to the pool, this will leave about $200,000 remaining from those funds.

CIP budget details

Chancy Nutt, Interim Finance Director, presented budget details for the general fund and CIP. She estimates general fund revenues at approximately $18 million and expenditures at $16.5 million, leaving $1.5 million in unallocated expenditures. CIP is currently funded at $875,000, with an additional $2.6 million to be available in the form of CIP grants. The fund balance could change depending on the timing of grant money receipts. Nutt will make another presentation to Council with an update as numbers are firmed up.

Jepson presented the CIP portion of the budget. Items are prioritized in three categories: A for urgent necessities, B for items that could be completed (if, for example, grant money becomes available), and C for items that are unlikely to happen this year. The current CIP budget reflects only A items. These come to $898,123. The list is still subject to change at this point.

Under the enterprise budget, the A and B items are both included in the CIP budget and amount to approximately $3 million, including water and wastewater. One C item that the City would like to move to the budget is the purchase of a new street sweeper, in alignment with the City’s goal of keeping the city clean and attractive. The sweeper would cost about $250,000. Council agreed that the sweeper should be moved to the A list.

WIFA projects

With regard to WIFA projects, City Engineer Jerry Barnes explained that the City received a $2 million WIFA loan in 2020 and has already begun the process of applying for another $4 million for this year.

Barnes presented a list of WIFA projects. The major projects are:

  • addressing common sewer lateral lines throughout the sewer collection system
  • implementing a capacity and condition study of the sewer system, and
  • eliminating the septic system in the Community Center area.

However, Barnes said, pricing is a problem because of huge cost increases. He hopes prices will stabilize as more people go back to work, because labor shortages seem to have been the major driver of the cost increases.

The WIFA projects are not included in the current budget estimate. The Engineering department will be bringing projects to Council individually, so Council will have the opportunity to decide on each project when final pricing is available.

Jepson plans to prepare two versions of the WIFA budget, for more and less conservative approaches in terms of debt. These will be presented to Council at a future meeting.

The tentative budget is slated to be approved on June 28. A public hearing will be held on July 26, and the final budget adoption will happen on the same day, after the hearing. Within seven days after adoption, the budget will be posted on the City’s website.

Nutt is recommending the Council hear a mid-year review of the budget this winter, to enable Council to hear from the City’s new finance director and give the City an opportunity to revise and refresh the budget given the changing financial and suppy chain environment.

Motions approved

Council also approved motions for the following:

  • Accounts payable in the amount of $1,000,737.26. Jepson explained that the City made a payment for asphalt (a capital improvement project) to Cactus Asphalt for $504,416.32, which accounts for accounts payable being so high this month.
  • A library service agreement for financial year 2022-23 with the Gila County Library District in the amount of $121,900, plus $1,160 for telephone expenses. Globe Public Library Director Rayel Starling said the library’s funding from the County had increased this year by $4,760.
  • A contract with Superior Tank Solutions for the rehabilitation of Hagen Tank #1 (a water storage tank), in the amount of $245,000 including a $5,000 contingency. Engineering Director Jerry Barnes explained that an annual inspection indicated the tank needed to be rehabbed. The City got a large discount by doing the work at the same time as Superior was also rehabbing tanks 2 and 3, under a previous contract. The funds will come out of next year’s budget. Councilman Rios pointed out that the City is preparing an asset management plan, which will facilitate maintaining the water system and other City infrastructure, which support quality of life for the people of Globe.

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Full minutes can be found by going to the City Hall website .

The Globe City Council meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The meetings are currently open to the public at 50% capacity. Members of the public are requested to wear a mask except when seated. Seating is limited to allow for social distancing.

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